Jane Lubchenco: The Marine Biologist and Environmental Scientist Who Served as Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Jane Lubchenco is an American marine biologist and environmental scientist who served as the first female to become the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She is renowned for her scientific breakthroughs, her commitment to protecting the environment, and her role in leading global efforts to address climate change.

Early Life and Education

Born on October 8, 1947, in Denver, Colorado, Jane Lubchenco grew up viewing the world with a “sense of wonder.” Her interest in science and conservation grew through her family’s vacations to national parks. She completed her undergraduate degree at Reed College in 1969 and went on to earn her Ph.D in marine ecology and evolutionary biology from Harvard University in 1972.

Scientific Career

The beginning of Jane Lubchenco’s career as a scientist shaped her interest in the role of natural and human interactions. She has gone on to become a world-renowned marine biologist and environmental expert. Her research has focused on understanding how human activities and natural calamities affect marine ecosystems. She has achieved numerous scientific breakthroughs, such as discovering the density-dependent regulation of population size in intertidal organisms.

Jane Lubchenco has had numerous fellowships, grants, appointments, and awards throughout her career. She was a professor at Harvard University and Oregon State University, faculty advisor at Princeton University, founding fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, founding co-chair of the National Research Council’s Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and most recently, a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Exemplar Advisory Group in 2020.

Environmental Leadership

In 2009, Jane Lubchenco assumed her role as the first female to be appointed as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She served as a leader in advocating for tougher environmental regulations and measures to protect the planet from the effects of climate change. She has spoken passionately about “the need for global action to reduce emissions and find lasting solutions to this growing problem.”

During her tenure, Lubchenco continued to lead research projects that aimed to improve the health of ecosystems and marine life around the world. One example of her innovations was the launch of the Ouick Response program, which enabled better monitoring of aquatic ecosystems and provided more data to local communities and businesses.

Importance of Science Policy

During her tenure as NOAA Administrator, Lubchenco was an advocate for the importance of science in informing public policy. She worked to make science-based decision-making a priority in government and emphasized the importance of involving those most affected by decisions to ensure better outcomes. She created the task force on Climate Change Science Integration to provide the most current information and research to the public.

Lubchenco also spearheaded efforts to increase public awareness and education on climate change. She worked closely with The Climate Project, a non-profit organization founded by former Vice President Al Gore, to provide climate change education to policy makers and decision makers.


Throughout her career, Jane Lubchenco has served as an impassioned advocate for environmental conservation. She has served as a leader in driving sustainable policies and implementation of research-based solutions in governments and businesses around the world. She has changed the way science informs policy and decisions, and has encouraged people around the globe to play an active role in protecting and preserving the planet’s natural resources.

Jane Lubchenco is a renowned marine biologist and environmental scientist. She made crucial contributions to scientific advancements and continues to advocate for stronger environmental protection policies. Her dedication to preserving the planet’s resources and advancing science-based decision-making has left a lasting legacy and continues to inspire future generations of scientists, conservationists, and policy makers.